With all the negative news surrounding us lately, it is always a breath of fresh air to see our faith in humanity restored. Joshua Cox, from Fix Forward, is doing just that.
Fix Forward, (formerly Trade-Mark) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to connecting homeowners and businesses wanting to renovate, with hand-picked quality tradespeople. Having seen first-hand how basic marketing resources and a good reference helped a struggling tradesman friend secure work, Cox established Fix Forward in 2012 to help others achieve similar success.
Starting with just 12 tradesmen, Fix Forward has grown their pool to over 60 registered tradesmen. Seeing such a large growth over the few short years gives the team the ability to connect more clients to quality tradesmen.
“I wanted to build an idea that added value to society and contributed positively to the progress of this country, and other developing countries around the world. By seeing our continued growth, I would like to think I am on track” said Cox.
One of the biggest problems faced in the industry – which is a longstanding challenge – is that clients often aim to pay as little as they can and still expect exceptional service. Fix Forward aims to change that mind-set to one where their clients can get fair value for money instead.
“We need to get clients to understand that paying a little bit more is in their best interest for quality work. Overcoming this will have to involve communicating to clients what a fair price actually is – particularly because the tradesmen come from lower income areas, there is a perception that the job will be a ‘cheap deal’. Fix Forward is all about positioning our service as a quality service, not a cheap one!”
Quality service has been proven over and over again with various tradesmen from the Fix Forward programme.
Sulayman Damon, has been in the building industry for 14 years and with Fix Forward for nine months. “Before joining Fix Forward, it was tough as a SME to get work. It was a struggle not knowing where the next job was coming from. But I have received consistent work from Fix Forward and because of that my company has grown and my profile has grown as well.” Said Damon.
Fix Forward offers mentoring, e-Learning, personal coaching, and workshop sessions all designed to develop each tradesmen’s skill in managing and growing a business. The e-learning courses can take anything from a week to a month to complete, depending on the tradesman’s commitment and schedule. The workshops, which run for about 10 months, are based on the curriculum in the e-learning courses in order to encourage tradesmen to develop a study plan that best suits their schedule as early as possible.
The courses cover areas such as Managing Finances, Effective Marketing, Professional Quoting, Project Management as well as Tax and Compliance. “I learnt how to deal with people and how to have the right approach when things don’t go my way. Furthermore, learning about negotiation has helped me get a lot more of my quotes accepted” said Fix Forward graduate, John Hopley.
If you would like to get in touch or find out more visit www.fixforward.com